Ideological congruence versus electoral success: Distribution of party organization contributions in Senate elections, 1990-2000

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Political scientists have long studied the importance of money in congressional elections. The primary conclusion of such studies is that candidates who lack financial resources rarely win elections. Recently, Democratic and Republican national party organizations have taken an active role in congressional campaigns, contributing millions of dollars to House and Senate hopefuls. In this work, I seek to determine whether the parties prefer to send resources to ideologically congruent candidates or to candidates engaged in competitive races. Building on previous works that analyzed the patterns of party contributions in House elections, I use a superior measure of ideology to study patterns of party donations to a specific subset of Senate candidates from 1990 to 2000. Consistent with studies of House contributions, I find that competitiveness, not ideology, is the primary determinant of party giving in Senate elections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

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